Geographical Thinking and GIS at Lib Arts Colleges

NITLE has just posted part 1 of its interview with Julio Rivera from Carthage College. I first met Julio several years ago when we coordinated a presentation/workshop on GIS at a Council on Undergraduate Research meeting; he’s very involved with and supportive of CUR.

In this podcast he reflects on what it means to “think like a geographer” and mentions observing patterns and finding connections in space and place. He started Carthage’s GIS program in 1997 (same year I started Alfred University’s) and comments on the paucity of GIS at lib arts colleges back then. Right, so few lib arts colleges have geography departments (though some that did were in fact already going great things with GIS, like at Middlebury). It was really in the late 1990s and early 2000’s that GIS exploded into other departments at lib arts (env studies, geology, etc.).

I liked how he linked his own growing up in a mix of urban/suburban areas as motivation to research residential choices, and left him with a lifelong value of kids “roaming.” Long live the free range child.

We need more geographers to become administrators!

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